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Dr Miriam Stoppard: At last, GPs have been given guidance about Lyme disease –

This is a subject I’ve ­written about several times over the years. I know it well because my sister and a female friend suffered nasty bouts of it.

Lyme disease can be a horrible ­bacterial condition, contracted from a tick bite, and if it’s not treated ­efficiently it can go on to cause ­seemingly unconnected ­symptoms, some affecting the brain.

My friend was admitted to a ­psychiatric hospital, my sister suffered muscle and joint pains for years. Trouble is, it isn’t easily diagnosed.

Doctors are unfamiliar with it and don’t know how to treat it. There are few specialists who know what to do.

Lyme disease is an uncommon cause of headache, dizziness, inability to concentrate, failing memory, arthritis, heart ­problems such as heart block or pericarditis, eye symptoms and skin rashes.

Now, thank goodness, NICE has come out with guidelines for doctors, reported in the British Medical Journal. Ticks are mainly found in grassy and wooded areas, including gardens and parks. Infected ticks are found throughout the UK and Ireland, although some areas seem to have a higher prevalence of infected ticks.

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